1743] To Horace Mann 345 almost certainty of losing between four or five thousand pounds, to which the deficiencies of the Opera generally amount now. The Duke of Dorset has desired the King not to subscribe; but Lord Middlesex is so obstinate, that this will probably only make him lose a thousand pounds more. The Freemasons are in so low repute now in England, that one has scarce heard the proceedings at Vienna against them mentioned5. I believe nothing but a persecution could bring them into vogue again here. You know, as great as our follies are, we even grow tired of them, and are always changing. 117. To HOKACE MANN. Arlington Street, May 12, 1748. IT is a fortnight since I have got any of your letters, but I will expect two at once. I don't tell you by way of news, because you will have had expresses, but I must talk of the great Austrian victory1! We have not heard the exact particulars yet, nor whether it was Kevenhuller3 or Lob-kowitz who beat the Bavarians ; but their general, Minucci, is prisoner. At first, they said Seckendorffe3 was too ; I am glad he is not: poor man, he has suffered enough by the house of Austria ! But my joy is beyond the common, for I flatter myself this victory will save us one: we talk of nothing but its producing a peace, and then one's friends will return. 5 A meeting of Freemasons was broken up by soldiers at Vienna, March 7, 1743. (Gent. Mag., 1743, p. 166.) LETTER 117.—1 At Brannau (Upper Austria) on May 9 (N.S.), the Bavarians were defeated by the vanguard of Prince Charles's army, and their general, Minuzzi, taken prisoner. 2 Count ELhevenhuller, one of Maria Theresa's generals. 8 Field Marshal Count von Secken-dorf (1678-1763), imprisoned in the fortress of G-ratz (1737-40), on account of his conduct of the campaign of 1737 against the Turks; Com-mander-in-Chief of the Bavarian forces, 1742.